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Monday, July 7th

First off, happy B-Day to Phil.
Best wishes to him, he's an awesome, talented guy (and girls, he's still single, hee hee).
In his honor, I have drunk one glass of white wine plus two glasses of champagne. Woooooooo!
I need a proper drinking icon.
I guess tea will have to do in the meantime (see? Zhao looks unhappy it is a non-alcoholic drink).

On the subject of yesterday's post about copy-pasting and storytelling, here's a good post written by jdalton some time ago:
Eh, he explains it better than I could, so I'll quote him.

Our crew has been asked at work to push funny ideas further.
My brain doesn't do funny on commands. It just...surprises me sometimes.

The drawing funk may be slowly lifting, but it doesn't mean I will have brilliant ideas.
Let me post some Water Tribe pages now, since it looks like I'll be busy trying to be funny in the next few days.

Sign the drawing funk is lifting up- I had fun drawing these! Hee hee. Don't expect to always have completely layed-out pages like that in the future. That's just silly old me.
Marker spirit statues are loosely inspired by Shinto religion. A very weird, bastardized and totally wrong version of Shinto, but that was the starting point.


( 44 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 8th, 2009 09:07 am (UTC)
rambling comment
Yay, Iroh!

Another spirit? Whoa!

Jul. 8th, 2009 03:16 pm (UTC)
Re: rambling comment
The Avatar Universe is filled with Spirits.
They're just pretty hard to find. Unless you anger them of course. Then, like Hei Bai, they come crashing down on your town
Azula doesn't really know about Zhao and the spirits: she's just making an educated guess as to why Zhao has been alive all this time.
She's smart.
Jul. 8th, 2009 04:06 pm (UTC)
Re: rambling comment
Randomly, when I saw that episode our closed captioning was incorrect, so for a while, I thought it was Hebe instead of Hei Bai. Hei Bai makes so much more sense!
Jul. 8th, 2009 09:52 am (UTC)


Nice to see more of Iroh :)
Jul. 8th, 2009 03:19 pm (UTC)
Zhao wants to run. Doesn't matter to his ego or if he'll lose face, first occasion he gets he's out of here!
Iroh wishes he could just take care of his teashop. At the same time, he doesn't want crazy niece to destroy his peaceful retirement, so he's getting involved.
Jul. 8th, 2009 10:37 am (UTC)
wow! liyi's actually not all that bad considering he actually protects the kids :@
Jul. 8th, 2009 01:55 pm (UTC)
Or, the kids contradict him and make him lose face. His judgement and advice is being undermined by children. He wants to remind Iroh that he's the adult and children should not be listened to.

And, might as well use a cat icon too. ;)
Jul. 8th, 2009 03:24 pm (UTC)
There is that too.
He truly doesn't want the children to get harmed, and at the same time he's still a high ranking officer (so shut up, kids!).
Jul. 8th, 2009 03:22 pm (UTC)
If you're on Li-Yi's good side, he's not all bad.
Do something against him, or be a criminal or a traitor, then you become like an annoying insect or vermin to him that he needs to crush.
He doesn't forgive. He gets rid of you without troubles of conscience.
Jul. 8th, 2009 04:39 pm (UTC)
Would you say that, in D&D alignment terms, Li-Yi would be somewhat of a Lawful Neutral character?
Jul. 8th, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC)
My old knowledge of D&D alignment are faaaaaaar away in my head.
He's more towards a Lawful Evil. His coldness and lack of empathy in getting rid of the people he deems vermins is something very very dark.
Jul. 8th, 2009 10:59 am (UTC)
Although I have been a bit silent lately I love how the story continues. <3 <3 <3

I currently wondering what kind of Shinto statues to are referring to? Do you mean the Jizo statues that can be found everywhere in Japan? The way you draw these statues remind me of them. :3
Jul. 8th, 2009 03:28 pm (UTC)
This is getting to the fun part of the story. Almost the high part in a way, you might say.
These are not quite Jizo statues. Jizos are more linked to Buddhism but were inspired by earlier statues. I don't know their proper names (my knowledge of Shinto is minimal), but they can be thought of as kami. Spirits within objects.
As I said, a weird hybrid of different influences.
Jul. 8th, 2009 04:28 pm (UTC)
Haha, I know that Jizo is linked to Buddhism - that's why I was a bit puzzled and asked. You're talking to someone who's studying Japanese culture so I'm naturally curious about the topic. In Shinto the most common statues are those of guards which usually come in pairs and defend the entrances of Shinto shrines (and also Buddhist temples).

When I think of it the only time I came across those stones in Shinto are in Miyazaki's "Spirited Away" which of course is all about Shinto if you want so. I'm a bit disappointed that they didn't explain these stones further in the artbook apart from calling them "stone spirit". :(
Jul. 8th, 2009 05:39 pm (UTC)
Ah well there you go! You are miles ahead of me in terms of Japanese culture. Surely a stronger footing.

The spirit statues here are loosely inspired by it all, be it Kami or Jizo. My head tells me that some of them that Zhao walks nearby have not been carved by human hands.
Jul. 8th, 2009 07:10 pm (UTC)
No problem. Since they also appear in Spirited Away you could still blame Hayao Miyazaki. XD Damn, now I'm curious what these things are... x3
Jul. 8th, 2009 11:25 am (UTC)
Woot! Azula's a very spirited femme, isn't she? Or at least, she wants to be. ^_^
Jul. 8th, 2009 11:26 am (UTC)
(And more win (Iroh! <3)
Jul. 8th, 2009 03:29 pm (UTC)
She should be careful what she wishes for, when it comes to spirited.
Jul. 8th, 2009 04:05 pm (UTC)
Woot! Azula's gonna get it! Wahoo!
Jul. 8th, 2009 11:35 am (UTC)
Interesting thing about Jizo statues (and Horse-head Kannon statues and the like): apparently this unique Japanese tradition has ties to Korean tradition (which had roadside male/female posts called Changseung), and, following it even further back, the Obo shrines of Mongolia. I don't know very much about these, but I learned a little while studying about a Japanese famous artist/anthropologist for a work project last year. It's pretty interesting how things feel interwoven!

Sorry, that is my long-winded way of saying that I really enjoy this story and the interesting elements you add to the world, such as adapting the concept of spirit statues, are a wonderful way to further explore new facets. Thank you. :)
Jul. 8th, 2009 03:32 pm (UTC)
You already know a lot more than me about this, ha ha! Thanks for the links and the extra bits of anthropology. I lobe learning about this stuff.
I'm just adding a bit more about spirit statues. Hei Bai, the forest spirit, had a big statue dedicated to it in the show. I'm just going off of that and stretching it a bit more.
Jul. 8th, 2009 04:19 pm (UTC)
No, just thank Taro Okamoto. I learned about this by translating some stuff for the Art Museum dedicated to him. :) He's famous as an dynamic artist in Japan, but few recognized how much insight he had about anthropology. I guess it was because he had been raised overseas for a time that he could see Japan's traditions objectively and make connections with other nation's cultures without any cloudy elitism.

Avatar gives me a similar feeling. Different cultures and traditions with each nation, but there are certain elements where you can see how they blend. Although there are borders and differences in values and governing - there are still interesting elements that are shared among all of them.

Anyway, I liked how you stretched the idea of the statues. It is neat and it flows well with the environment, since so many spirits (not just One spirit) occupy the land.

By the way, a mountain spirit!? I'd question Azula's sanity, but of course, she's Azula. :S If that huge spirit were to stir, the main question on my mind won't be "What will it do!?", the question will be "Is this going to go exactly as Azula planned?" Either way, start running Zhao! o_0
Jul. 8th, 2009 05:43 pm (UTC)
You got me curious about Taro Okamoto now. I'll have to look up some reading material on him. When I have the time...

Ha ha, every one should question Azula's sanity- except patchy officer there, who is so blinded by his loyalty to her he refuses to see anything wrong with her.
Give him a chance, and Zhao will run. Run away so fast.
Jul. 9th, 2009 12:26 pm (UTC)
I'm biased, but Okamoto is pretty awesome. Despite being surrounded by a world of painfully strict Traditional Japanese Art, he was the first among his countrymen to stand up and shout "Art is EXPLOSION!!" XD

I wonder about patchy officer. Why so loyal to Azula? It just be only fear - though that might explain some of her other soldiers.
Jul. 8th, 2009 12:14 pm (UTC)
I feel your pain. I suck at being funny on command.

Love the post you linked to. ...And I can think of a few comics I've seen over the years I wish I could point to it.
Jul. 8th, 2009 03:34 pm (UTC)
Here, you! Be funny until Thursday!
I don't know if I can do it, but I'll try.
Jul. 8th, 2009 01:47 pm (UTC)
Azulaaaaaaaaaaa <3
Jul. 8th, 2009 03:33 pm (UTC)
That woman's trouble.
Gotta love her.
Jul. 9th, 2009 12:57 pm (UTC)
That I do!!! I hope you treat her well ;___; Don't bee too hard on her... or Zhao! <3
Jul. 8th, 2009 02:15 pm (UTC)
Yay, Azula's back. :D

This is getting so exciting!
Jul. 8th, 2009 03:34 pm (UTC)
Had to bring her back- too much fun to leave alone.
Jul. 8th, 2009 04:13 pm (UTC)
Mountain Spirit?
OH AZULA! You crazy lady. You're going to reap the whirlwind.

Jul. 8th, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC)
She's crazy and reaching for the top.
No little spirits for her, she's going for the big one!
Jul. 8th, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC)
Woohoo! Iroh! Azula! Now the hijinks can commence! XD Totally awesome comic update.

Also, ARGH to the copy/paste.
Jul. 8th, 2009 05:45 pm (UTC)
Took a while to get there, didn't it?
Copy/paste can be good if used properly. Abuse of it is terribly annoying.
Jul. 8th, 2009 06:29 pm (UTC)
Zhao's haircut!?
Hello, it's my first comment.
I'm your WT comic fan from south korea.

After good reading, I found different Zhao's hair style.
Until p77, Zhao was water tribe style. but it changed fire nation style in p78 and p79.
Jul. 8th, 2009 06:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Zhao's haircut!?
Ha ha, good catch!! Gotta love readers with sharp eyes.
My mistake, his hair should not be tied up nicely fire nation style.
I'll have to fix that.
(self- mental note: do not draw comics when tired: hair styles mistake WILL happen).
Jul. 8th, 2009 07:47 pm (UTC)
Iroh and Azula!!! *squee*

Oh boy, Zhao is really in trouble now....
Jul. 9th, 2009 05:12 pm (UTC)
When isn't he in trouble? I guess now it's worse than ever, because Iroh is around, heh heh!
Jul. 9th, 2009 04:52 pm (UTC)
Yeeeee! I just got a package! In the mail! And I love it :D Thanks so much Johane, I knew the Water Tribe series was epic but seeing it bound in such thick books made me fully realize HOW epic! My friend and I are currently geeking out over the books at work, you are such an inspiration! :D
Jul. 9th, 2009 05:11 pm (UTC)
So glad to know they've arrived safely! They took a while to get to you, longer than I expected.
Ha ha, these are very geeky books, made with loads of geeky love.
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 9th, 2009 08:16 pm (UTC)
They definitely keep the uniforms for the official side of thing: they see themselves as the proper, rightful power of the fire nation, since Azula had been named by her father to become the next firelord. Zuko, for them, is the impostor.
Looks like a few books were going slow this week. Yours may take a bit more than a week to get to you.
Jul. 10th, 2009 12:28 pm (UTC)
omgomgomg... omg.
Now I kinda want to see how Zhao deals with it. Sure running away would've been nice, but for Zhao it's never easy. Maybe he'll get a chance to prove to Aku that he's on... sorta good side (meaning: Zhao being safe and staying alive, with some odd luck with rescuing few other lives).
And I really love the atmosphere and setting. This page would've looked gorgeous when colored in all sorts of greens. :)
( 44 comments — Leave a comment )

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